AUTHOR: Kennedy, Tod M.
PUBLISHED ON: May 6, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Christian Living

            Doctrine: Gideon, Judges 6-8


    1.  When  things  go badly that does not  means
that  God has abandoned you.  It means that  God  is
working in your life. Gideon was wrong (6.13).

    2.  God can use any believer that is willing to
grow.  He  can change you from  spiritual  timidity,
unbelief,  and  self-centeredness  to  spiritual
courage, faith, humility, and orientation to Himself
and  His plan.  But this takes time.  Gideon started
(6.25-27,34-35; 7.1-8,15-8.23).

    3.  Believe  God right from the  beginning  and
therefore  serve  him  faithfully  by  learning  and
applying His word instead of testing God like Gideon
because  you  do  not believe Him and  are  worried.
Faithful  application will result in contented  rest
(faith  rest),  accomplishment of  your  task,  and
spiritual  victory.  Gideon  failed  a  lot  (6.12-
18,27,36-40; 7.9-15; 8.27).

    4.  When  the will of God is clear (statment or
principle from Bible) do not wait  for God to verify
it.  Act on it. Do not check up on God or test Him.
If the will of God is not clear, then 1) live inside
God’s plan 2) apply  the doctrine that you know  and
3) use the principles of divine guidance. Gideon did
not do this failed (6.12-18,27,36-40; 7.9-15; 8.27).

    5. The learning of a few spiritual lessons does
not  make  a believer mature.  But you are  able  to
serve faithfully with the growth you have. Spiritual
growth  and health requires day to day learning  and
applying the Word of God (8.21-23; Heb 11.32-34).

    6.  Repeated  spiritual  failure  does  not
disqualify  you from important service for the LORD.
Learn  by failures and apply God’s word (Heb  11.32-

    7. Certain kinds of warfare are right (6.14-16;
    1.  Israel did not live by God’s plan or follow
His  will  so God sent the Midianites  in  order  to
correct  Israel’s relationship with Him (Judges 6.1-
6).  The  Midianites were “…Highly mobile  Bedouin
marauders mounted on camels.  They infiltrated  from
the  desert and filled the valleys with their flocks
and  tents,  harassing  the  Israelites  populace
scattered  in  open settlements.”  (MacMillan  Bible
Atlas, page 55).

    2.  After seven years Israel finally asked  the
LORD for help (6.6).

    3.  The LORD sent a prophet who reminded Israel
about God’s goodness to them,  their relationship to
Him (fear the LORD), and their failure (6.8-10).

    4.  Then  the angel of the LORD visited  Gideon
          4.1.  The  angel of the LORD was the  LORD
(Yahweh),  but  He looked like a man to Gideon.  The
writer  identified Him as the angel of the LORD  and
LORD.  Gideon calls him Lord (sir). The angel of the
LORD was God the Son (Jn 1.18).
          4.2. The angel of the LORD called Gideon a
valiant  warrior  (gibor  hehayil).  He  was  not  a
valiant warrior at the time.  He was timid.  He  was
beating  wheat  in a wine  press  (6.11-12).  Gideon
misinterpreted  the  divine discipline  upon  Israel
(6.13).  The LORD (angel) gave clear instructions to
Gideon.  He  was to lead the Israeli troops  against
the  Midianites and defeat them.  Gideon refused  to
trust  the  LORD.  He  made  excuses.  Gideon  was
demonstrating  pride,  not humility,  when he  said
that  he  was the youngest in the  least  family  in
Manasseh (6.14-16).
          4.3.  Gideon  eventually realized that the
messenger  was  probably  the  LORD  and  asked  for
verification  (6.17-18).  The  angel  of  the  LORD
demonstrated  that  He  was  the  LORD.  Gideon  was
finally convinced (6.19-24).  By now God’s will  was
clear. God’s power was given. Gideon’s answer should
have  been “Yes sir,  LORD.” He should have prepared
to fight.

    5.  Gideon  obeyed  the LORD and destroyed  the
idol  altar (6.25-32).  He accepted this order  from
the LORD.  This confirmed that Gideon knew the  LORD
was commanding him.  But Gideon was still timid.  He
was  not thinking and acting with the confidence and
energy  that  God’s representative  should  exhibit.

    6.  Gideon prepared for the fight (6.33-35). At
this  point Gideon clearly knew God’s will  and  had
God’s support (6.14,16,22,).  He had the Holy Spirit
(6.34),  and  he even had Israeli soldiers (6.34-35,

    7.  Gideon tested God by asking that He perform
two  miracles  on the wool  fleece  (6.36-40).  This
showed disobedience toward the LORD (lack of  faith,
lack  of orientation to LORD and His plan,  lack  of
authority orientation,  lack of humility, occupation
with  self) by asking for further evidence of  God’s

    8.  The  LORD  decreased the number of  Israeli
troops  before  the battle  against  the  Midianites
(7.1-8).  He did this so Israel would have no reason
to  think their human ability defeated Midian (7.2).
The  first cut removed the fearful so 22,000  people
left  and 10,000 stayed (7.3).  The second cut  left
300 with Gideon.  God chose those that lapped  water
from their hand (7.4-8).  God promised again to give
Israel victory.

    9. Gideon again showed fear so God let him make
an  unnecessary  reconnaissance  with  Purah,  his
servant (7.9-15).
          9.1.  Gideon wanted to have human evidence
instead of trusting the Word of God about the coming
battle (7.9-11).
          9.2.  Gideon  heard  someone tell about  a
dream.  The  dream  pictured  Israel  defeating  the
Midianite  army.  Gideon was quick  to believe  this
man,  but  he had trouble believing  God  (7.12-15).
Gideon  finally  believed that God would defeat  the
Midianites after other people said God would.

    10.  Gideon’s strike force was made up of three
companies,  each with 100 men.  They were all  armed
with trumpets and torches inside jars.  The LORD had
already  decreed  they  would  win  (7.15-18).  The
Midianites  had 135,000 (7.16 and 8.10).  They  were
very mobile. They had camels (6.5).

    11. Gideon’s strike force was really the LORD’S
strike  force.  When they attacked the enemy (middle
watch  was  about 10 at night)  the  LORD  confused,
panicked, and defeated the Midianite army (7.19-23).

    12.  Gideon  sent out a call for reinforcements
to  help the pursuit.  The men of Ephraim  were  mad
because  Gideon  had not asked them to fight in  the
earlier battle,  but they joined in the fight  after
Gideon (thinking clearly under pressure) calmed them
down (7.24-8.3).

    13.  Gideon  and his force successfully carried
out  the mop up operation without any help from  the
men  of Succoth and Penuel (both Israeli  cities  in
Gad on the east side of the Jordan River (8.4-17).
          13.1.  The men of Succoth and Penuel  were
hesitant  to  trust  God so they  would  not  commit
themselves  to  Gideon’s  cause  (8.4-9).  Their
resistence  showed  their  rejection  of  God  and
willingness  to  accept the  Midianites.  They  will
regret this (8.13-17; 5.23).
          13.2. Gideon and his strike force followed
a  caravan route to Karkor,  east of the  Dead  Sea.
There  they  finished off the enemy army  (8.11-12),
then  executed the Midianite kings  (8.18-21).  Note
that the LORD’s army searched out and destroyed  the
enemy. The was will of the holy and loving God.

    14. Gideon demonstrated by his humility that he
was  beginning to learn important lessons (obey God,
authority orientation,  humility,  faith in God  and
His plan), but he had trouble with the details as we
learn from the Ephod incident (8.22-35).
          14.1.  After  the  LORD had  restored  the
peace  through Gideon’s military force,  the  people
asked  Gideon to become the king.  He  refused.  The
LORD was the true king (8.22-23).
          14.2.  Gideon  was probably  well  meaning
when  he made the ephod (priest loin cloth (Ex 39.1-
26),  but he should have known that it would  become
an idol (8.24-27; Exodus 32.1-8).

    15.  Israel prospered until Gideon died.  Then,
without Gideon to lead them,  Israel reverted to the
Caananite  way of life.  People need strong  leaders

Copyright 1986 by Tod M. Kennedy

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